The Top 20 Under 24 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of five staff writers and over 300 readers that ranked prospects under the age of 24 and have played less than 125 NHL games.
We kick things off in our prospect rankings with Finnish defender Miska Kukkonen. He was a fifth-round pick of Jason Botteril in the 2018 NHL Draft. The 20-year-old defender is getting his first full season this year in the Finnish pro league, Liiga.
He’s getting a decent amount of ice time for Lukko as a 20-year-old. He’s averaging 17:30 time on ice per game through the first 11 contests of the season.
Kukkonen isn’t going to bring much offensively, but he’s a decent in his own end of the ice and can be leaned on in penalty kill situations. He’s not a prospect that is going to be a huge impact player down the road.
Best case scenario is he provides some depth in the organization and is an AHL/NHL tweener. It’ll be interesting to see how his first full pro season in his D+3 year.